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The phrase 'award season' is rarely associated with anything except cinema. There are the Oscars, Globes, and various critics' circles who dole out various awards of varying levels of prestige. However, each year, around the same time the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences knights various members of the entertainment industry with Academy Awards, the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) selects a first and second place winner from 18 categories of visual art exhibitions both internationally and regionally.

AICA is an international NGO which was founded in 1949 by UNESCO in order to reinvigorate public discourse on contemporary art after World War II and Nazism swept over the Eurpean continent. 58 Years later, AICA has grown to have offices in 74 countries with over 4,000 members worldwide.

Last night, the New England Chapter of AICA held its ceremony at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in this yearly gathering of Boston's art intelligentsia.

One of the few winners of the prestigious award not present at the ceremony was James Hull of the Green Street Gallery who is still sojourning in Italy. Big RED and Shiny obtained a link to his acceptance speech, which he gave in Rome.

New members of the New England Chapter were also announced, including Big RED's own Christian Holland.

The final award of the ceremony was given to Jill Medvedow, whose leadership and perseverance has given to Boston a grand and triumphant new building for the Institute of Contemporary Art. Her acceptance speech was received by cheers and a standing ovation.

The 2007 AICA Awards:

Best Monographic Museum Show New England
First Place: Chuck Close Prints: Process and Collaboration; organized by the Blaffer Gallery, Art Museum of the University of Houston and the Addison Gallery of American Art; curator, Terrie Sultan
Second Place: Joan Snyder: A Painting Survey 1969-2005; organized by the Danforth Museum of Art; curator, Katherine French

Best Thematic Museum Show New England
First Place: Painting Summer in New England; organized by the Peabody Essex Museum of Art; curator, Trevor Fairbrother
Second Place: Ahistoric Occasion: Artists Making History; organized by Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art; curator, Nato Thompson

Best Monographic Museum Show Boston
First Place: America Starts Here – Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler 1985-1995; organized by Skidmore College and MIT List Visual Arts Center; curators, Ian Berry and Bill Arning
Second Place: David Hockney Portraits; organized by Boston Museum of Fine Arts; curators, Sarah Howgate and Barbara Stern Shapiro

Best Thematic Museum Show Boston-area
First Place: On the Edge: Contemporary Chinese Artists Encounter the West; organized by the Iris and Gerald Cantor Center for the Visual Arts at Stanford University and the Davis Museum and Cultural Center, Wellesley College; curator, Britta Erickson
Second Place: Choreographic Turn: Daria Martin, Peter Welz in Collaboration with William Forsythe; organized by MIT List Visual Arts Center; curator, Bill Arning

Best Installation or Single Work of Art in a Museum New England
First Place: Xu Bing: Any Opinions?; organized by the Davis Museum and Cultural Center, Wellesley College; curator, Anja Chavez
Second Place: Carsten Holler: Amusement Park; organized by the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art; curators, Joe Thompson, Nato Thompson, and Larry Smallwood

Best Installation or Single Work of Art in a Museum Boston-area
First Place: Jessica Stockholder: Rawhide Harangue of Aching Indices as Told by Light;
organized by Barbara and Steven Grossman Gallery, School of the Museum of Fine Arts; curator, Joanna Soltan
Second Place: Paul Chan 1st Light, Momentum 5; organized by the ICA Boston; curator, Bennett Simpson

Best Show in a Commercial Gallery Boston- area
First Place: Taylor Davis; Samson Projects
Second Place: Neeta Madahar: Nature Studies; Howard Yezerski Gallery

Best Show in a Commercial Gallery New England
First Place: Neal T. Walsh; Gallery Agniel, Providence, RI; curator, Sara Agniel
Second Place: New Visions: Mike Berg, Paul Chojnowski, and Ray Charles White; Harrison Gallery, Williamstown, MA; curator, Jo Ellen Harrison

Best Show of an Emerging Artist Boston-area
First Place: Joe Zane: Personality; Allston Skirt Gallery
Second Place: Gary Duehr: Car Obscura; Gallery Kayafas

Best Show in an Alternative Space Boston-area
First Place: Joe Wardwell: Solo; The Green Street Gallery; curator: James Hull
Second Place: Liz Nofziger: Grate (Black Gold); Second Gallery; curator, Rebecca Gordon

Best Monographic Show in Institutional/University Gallery Boston-area
First Place: Shintaro Miyake: The Beaver Project; organized by the Sara and David Bakalar Gallery, Massachusetts College of Art; curator, Lisa Tung
Second Place: Penelope Jencks; organized by Boston University School of the Visual Arts, 808 Gallery; curator, Lynne Cooney

Best Group Show in Institutional/University Gallery Boston-area
First Place: Pattern Language: Clothing as Communicator; organized by the Tufts University Art Gallery; curator, Judith Fox
Second Place: Four Artists in Search of the Intangible; organized by Trustman Art Gallery at Simmons College; curator, Bob Oppenheim

Best Group Show in Institutional/University Gallery or Non-Profit Space, New England
First Place: From Baja to Bar Harbor: Transnational Contemporary Art; organized by The Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art. Portland, Maine; curator, Toby Kamps
Second Place: Voice: Women in Contemporary Art; organized by the Providence Art Club. Providence, RI; curator, Kara Walker

Best Group Show in a Commercial Gallery Boston-area
First Place: Don't Abandon the Ship; Allston Skirt Gallery; curator, Eddie Martinez
Second Place: Katherine Jackson, Pamela Harris, Eva Lee, William Weiss: New Works on Paper; O.H +T Gallery

Best Project in a Public Space Boston-area
First Place: Michael Dowling, Medicine Wheel; Cyclorama, Boston Center for the Arts
Second Place: Ellen Driscoll, Filament/Firmament; Cambridge Arts Council; curator, Hafthor Yngvason

Best Architecture or Design Show
First Place: A Chain of Events: Modernist Architecture on the Outer Cape: Marcel Breuer to Charles Jencks; organized by the Provincetown Art Association and Museum; curators, Bob Bailey and Peter McMahon
Second Place: Light My Fire: Rock Posters from the Summer of Love; organized by the Museum of Fine Arts Boston; curator, Patrick Murphy

Best Historical Show Boston-area
First Place: Gentile Bellini and the East; organized by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; curators, Alan Chong and Caroline Campbell
Second Place: Frank Stella 1958; organized by Harvard University Art Museums, Arthur M. Sackler Museum; curators, Harry Cooper and Megan R. Luke

Best Exhibition of Time Based Art Boston-area (Film, Video, and Performance)
First Place: Brian Knep: Deep Wounds; Memorial Hall, Harvard University; organized by the Office of the Arts at Harvard and Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School
Second Place: ArtRages Festival; organized by Mobius

Second Annual AICA/ New England Special Recognition Award
Jill Medvedow, Director, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston

International Association of Art Critics

All images are courtesy of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Photos by Katherine Armstrong.

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